Truffles: What’s it like managing the kitchen?
Rob: It’s a daily adventure. No matter how much we plan, there are always surprises, particularly this year. We do everything we can to make great chocolate and keep customers happy, but this year is unlike any other. We’re definitely in uncharted territory. No matter how hectic it gets, I always try to stay calm and keep my sense of humor. And we have a really great team that makes it all happen.
Truffles: How’s your supply chain holding up?
Rob: We’ve been working with many of our suppliers for a long-time, so we have pretty strong personal relationships that help us when we run into a jam. Of course, they’ve also been affected by the pandemic and face some of the same challenges we have. I’m lucky that our suppliers work with us so well.
Truffles: Your biggest challenge?
Rob: No one thing pops out, but we have to remember to tell each other what’s going on. I’ve learned you can never communicate enough with each other. Although Sweet Designs is a small company, it’s a surprisingly complex business. Making sure that we always have enough product and that the left-hand is aware of what the right-hand is doing are two challenges I try to make sure we stay on top of.
Truffles: What do you like most about working at Sweet Designs?
Rob: I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that it’s the people. Ines (founder of Sweet Designs) has created an environment that attracts and keeps some really capable, hard-working people. They’re from all over the world and work together effectively for the common good. I never hear anyone say “It’s not my job”. The other nice thing about working here is that we make products that people love. Although I don’t work directly with our customers, it makes me really happy when people say they love our chocolates.
Truffles: When you aren’t working, what do you do for fun?
Rob: I’m a loyal Browns fan and have followed them since I was a kid. Win or lose, I follow them and truly hope that I’ll be able to see them win it all one day. At least, that’s my hope. I also enjoy watching some of my favorite shows and playing my X-box.
Truffles: What’s your favorite chocolate?
Rob: That’s like asking a parent, who’s your favorite child. I’ll simply say, if a box of milk German chocolate magically appeared,